USAG Natick not the only garrison tightening its belt
January 29, 2010
NATICK, Ma. (Jan. 29, 2010) - More than three months into fiscal year 2010, and the U.S. Army Garrison still doesn't have a clear picture of its annual budget. But the leadership knows money will be tight and to expect a decrease from the 2009 figures.
The Natick garrison isn't the only garrison facing a possible budget shortfall. Funding shortfalls have hit the entire Installation Management Command (IMCOM) in 2010.
The Fayetteville Observer recently reported that Fort Bragg will receive 20 percent less money than it did in 2009. According to other news services, Fort Campbell is expecting a 40 percent cut, Fort Stewart a 39 percent cut and 22 percent at Fort Drum.
In a commentary in the Jan. 15 edition of NSSC This Week, Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, IMCOM commander talked of the tough times ahead.
"The Installation Management Command - like other commands throughout our Army - will operate at reduced funding levels," said Lynch. "This means that starting in 2010, performance levels for some installation services will be notably less than what we have had in recent years and will remain at that level for the foreseeable future.
"Our challenge is to ensure those key, higher-priority programs across our installations do not suffer. We will maintain our full support to Life, Health and Safety programs, the Army Family Covenant and those services that prepare our Soldier and their Families for deployment in support of the Army's Force Generation model.
"These are non-negotiables that will remain fully funded. This is our commitment; we will not depart from it. However, there will be other installation services that will clearly be reduced."
At the USAG Natick, there are many steps being taken. "We are continuing to provide the services this installation and its tenants require in the face of a severe budget challenge," said Hugh Hardin, the USAG Natick deputy commander. "We are implementing prudent steps, such as reviewing all of our service contracts for potential savings, halting non-critical temporary duty assignments, reduced our hiring actions to those that are critical for mission accomplishment, and minimizing overtime across the workforce to reduce our expenditures. We will also work with our tenant leadership to ensure that any proposed service reductions and impacts are clearly articulated proactively to ensure we do not jeopardize their mission accomplishment and we can work together towards potential solutions."
IMCOM as a command is looking within to find the best practices to make effective use of its funding.
"We cannot afford to continue to resolve funding problems by asking for more money," said Lynch. "We must first ask ourselves if we are doing the right things and doing them right."